EwA’s philosophy is one of environmental wisdom. It entails, knowledge, ethics, harmony, a positive attitude. A wisdom that is needed now, in every aspects of our lives, and pretty much everywhere.
Earthwise Aware is a call for action to help protect the Earth, and to do it ethically and responsibly. Eco-traveling, volunteering, conservation, activism are all means to achieve this, helping to change our attitude so as to favor an ecological balance with all other species and ecosystems –An attitude that places us back into Nature, rather than putting us apart from it.
As Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” EwA believes we can do this together, and that such needed environmental wisdom starts within each of us, as an individual.
EwA, a revival of Ecosophy…
Ecosophy is mainly the work of a single man: Arne Næss (1912 – 2009). He was an important and very respected Norwegian philosopher and mountaineer. In the 70s, he came up with the term ‘Ecosophy’, that later got to be also known as ‘Deep Ecology’.
With Arne Næss, deep ecology became both an environmental philosophy as well as a socio-political movement of the people in favor of the environment.
While working on reviewing literature and science references to explain what the EwA philosophy is, we stumbled upon Næss’ concept of Ecosophy, a word whose etymology most compactly expresses what Earthwise Aware is all about:
- Ecology, that is a branch of science dealing with the relationship of living things to their environments, and
- Sofia, a word of Greek origin meaning ‘wisdom’.
Then the concept can refer simply to a philosophy based on the wisdom of ecological harmony. And that is actually and exactly what the inventor of Ecosophy meant. He created the concept to describe an evolving but consistent philosophy of being, thinking, and acting in the world, that embodies ecological wisdom and harmony.
At the risk of oversimplifying Næss’ Ecosophy, one fundamental idea is that nothing exists “separately”. A thing only exists as the result of the relationships that “this thing” maintains with the environment in which it lives. A single World exists, without any division, any particular distinction, a web of a sort, in which all its constituents are primordial and necessary for the whole to hold together.
Ecosophy might have been a new concept at the time of its invention but it was not a new attitude. Many tribal leaders had already warned us repeatedly over centuries about the danger of seeing our species as singular, above all the other species, and free to use all earth resources at will regardless of consequences.
At EwA, understanding Ecosophy as an existing concept raised repeatedly in one form or the other in our human history was refreshing and hopeful. Indeed, even if it highlighted a long struggle of ours as a species, it also meant that this is a battle that we want to have and one that we want to win. This wisdom exists. It lives in us. It has been named multiple times over time and only needs to be rekindled.
Yes, Earthwise Aware was named before we rediscovered the term Ecosophy. Yet, from the start Earth, Wisdom and Awareness were intended to be EwA’s building blocks. And it simply happened that EwA revealed itself to be a contemporary spin on Ecosophy. From a philosophical point of view, we see EwA as a revival of this wisdom that we have in us. Remember that “Wisdom” is also part of our species name ‘Sapiens’, it only has to resurface and ‘now’ is the time!
“Rising up to our ‘Wise’ nature. Let’s be Earthwise Aware and embrace the ‘Sapiens’ in us.”
Do you know that mankind has been present for a mere few seconds in the 24 hours story of Earth? Yes, the Earth is 4.543 billion years and if you scale the Earth lifespan down to a 24 hours timeline, we just appeared some 3 seconds ago or so. And in these 3 seconds, these universe split seconds, what have we done?
We evolved to the “Modern Man” that we are. We did great things. We discovered fire, invented agriculture, domesticated species; We split the atom, we sent men into space, we fought for human rights and won that battle in many countries. We conquered the World no less…
But we also have inflicted and succumbed to genocides (we did that to our own kind); we polluted water, soil and air causing the deaths of millions of us and of other species; we deforested billions of acres of forest and continue to do so; we over hunted and poached species leading them to extinctions and this trend is accelerating; we over consumed and wasted resources and now want even more; As of recently, we can claim to be the main reason for the loss of half of the World’s wildlife in the past 40 years. We rightfully earned the name of super predators in recent scientific publications. We have an ongoing extinction named after us: the Anthropocene extinction…
No need to continue further. The point is not to dramatize or scold. The intent here is simply to remind us of the reality – not as we want to see it but how it really is – and this so that we understand what we are talking about, know what we have done and what we need to change. In just a few seconds of our existence, we have done all that to a planet and its other-than-humans inhabitants that preceded us, “Homo Sapiens”.
But it needs not to be that way. Do you know that sapiens is the present participle of sapere “be wise”? We are certainly a very smart species, but are we wise? We’re not – on an average we have not been. We have to be honest about it. Better: together we can change that now. We can rise up to our true Nature; we can be Earthwise Aware and embrace the ‘Sapiens’ in us.